WilleyWorld Community Productions was back again this past weekend, upping the "Auntie" with another successful play.
As in past years, the company's presentation of "Auntie Mame" at Ottawa Township High School involved dozens of residents, providing for both a true community effort and great entertainment.
The play included more than 30 performers.
Walt Willey, an Ottawa native and former actor on soap opera "All My Children" has continued the tradition of bringing other TV stars to the local stage.
This year, Colleen Zenk, of "As The World Turns," took the stage with local performers, including Willey.
As stated in the show's program, "WilleyWorld Community Productions has naturally evolved from a community theater into a regional community theater, drawing talents and theatergoers not only from Ottawa, but from all over Starved Rock Country — and beyond."
And the group reaches beyond its productions, also offering an internship/mentorship program.
"...We will be able to grow and continue to serve our beloved Starved Rock Country and keep the performing arts alive and thriving in the area," the program states.
That's excellent news for the area, which has shown great talent not only with WilleyWorld but from all area theater groups.
This is the sixth year for a WilleyWorld production.
"We are proud to announce our partnership with Starved Rock Country and my appointment as their community arts adviser," Willey said. "This pairing will help us with our mission to keep the performing arts alive in this area, expand our season and support young people in the arts right here at home..."
Outlets for the performing arts are important in any community, and Willey's dedication to his hometown has resulted in a growing program.
"I love this city," Willey previously said. "I always say what I am today is because of my years growing up in Ottawa. I hope it brings new visitors to town."
We're excited to see this program thriving and look forward to each summer's production.